Chapter 107 – Battle at the Top (3)
After coming back to his senses, Kim SooYong continued commenting.
“This isn’t the duel arena. This means that the damage done between users isn’t guaranteed…”
It was obvious that even if he tried to explain their movements and the psychological aspect of the fight, most viewers wouldn’t understand. So Kim SooYong focused on other aspects of the fight.
“Not only that, but both are players specialized in damage dealing. The fight could end at any moment if either receives a critical hit attack!”
Kim SooYong correctly analyzed the situation.
One of the reasons why they still had their HP intact was that both of them were good at dodging the opponent’s attacks, but the other reason was that they were wary about each other’s huge damage output.
Even Lattice was struggling to fight in close range.
‘Isn’t she thinking of using that yet…?’
The attack Lattice was the most worried about was «Efreet’s Claws».
He’d recently seen footage of her using that skill. After checking out the details of it, Lattice concluded that he couldn’t ignore its destructive power.
‘It seems like she isn’t going to use it.’
But if the opponent planned to hide it until the end, it would be better if he showed his next card first.
Grains of ice wrapped around Lattice’s body.
The frost even began rotating around his blue longsword.
Because he was standing on top of a tower amid a blizzard while covered by cold air, Lattice looked like a knight emanating frost.
‘An ultimate attack?’
Ain’s eyes shone.
She knew what that skill was just from its effect.
It was an awakening skill you could only obtain by defeating the 5th floor of the awakening quest.
Not only that but it had been upgraded thanks to a job ascension.
When Ain finished thinking, Lattice’s attack had already begun.
The ice blade drew a half-moon and brushed past Ain’s robe.
Had he missed?
No, Ain already knew that wasn’t the case.
A cold air blasted from the blue sword.
The cold air froze everything around and covered half of Ain’s body.
‘Hup! «Flame Claws»…!’
Flames immediately appeared in Ain’s hands.
Tss- The ice melted because of the heat, and freezing effect was released.
But that was what Lattice was aiming for.
He swung his sword toward Ain’s ankle.
Ain backflipped and dodged the attack, but Lattice had jumped toward the same side.
He had correctly guessed the opponent’s next movement!
That movement wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for Lattice’s talent and hard work.
‘It’s the end!’
Lattice used the sword to cut vertically.
While doing that, cold air exploded once more.
The magician got slower if the mind froze.
Lattice knew that.
Just swinging the sword would’ve been enough, but just in case, he used his ultimate attack once more.
The cold air exploded, and the sword went through Ain.
No, it looked as if it’d gone through her.
Lattice, and everyone watching the stream, was sure that Ain had died.
At that moment…
Lattice saw Ain’s hands moving at an unbelievable angle.
Even when seeing it with his own eyes, he couldn’t believe it.
It was as if he’d seen a magic trick.
Ain had changed the trajectory of the attack with the palms of her hands. He was able to cut off only the edges of her clothes.
It should’ve been impossible for a human to see and react to that.
That meant she’d guessed the trajectory of the attack.
‘She brushed away the sword with her hands…?’
Half of Ain’s body had frozen because of the cold air.
Fwoosh-! But as Ain ignited a fire, the ice disappeared.
Ain smiled while shaking off the fire.
“That was dangerous.”
She really meant it.
Unlike Hyun, she wasn’t afraid of risks.
The possibility of that movement being successful was only 50%, but she’d tried it without doubting.
She felt excited every time she succeeded in doing something like that.
That recklessness was Ain’s biggest weakness.
“You were lucky.”
Lattice’s eyes sank coldly.
Ain didn’t deny Lattice’s words.
But Ain had made all the calculations.
Even if she’d failed, she would’ve still had some HP left.
“You won’t be lucky again.”
Lattice changed his posture.
Vrr- Lattice’s body began trembling while creating an after image.
Tens of times in a second…
It was a phenomenon that happened when you moved quickly between two positions.
As he leaped forward in that state, it was as if two Lattices were attacking simultaneously.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
Ain was surprised.
But then, her smile deepened.
She was used to the movement Lattice was using.
That movement, which was something impossible to do in real life, was a movement that Asra users used.
‘So there’s someone who uses this?’
Since one couldn’t defend two places simultaneously, if you reacted to one attack, you would end up being hit by the other.
Lattice’s movements forced the opponent to make a decision.
Suddenly, Ain began wondering about something.
‘How does this guy know the movement I developed with Hyun?’
She started to think about the people she’d fought against in the past.
He’d probably heard from one of them.
‘Then, does he know this?’
Among the things she’d gained while dueling with Hyun, there was a way to destroy that movement.
She’d never used it after coming to Asrian, but it wasn’t hard to remember the sensations of the past.
* * *
– What skill is that?
– A clone?
From the moment Lattice’s body began to tremble, everyone thought the same thing.
—That it was a new skill.
That movement that required one to increase the Agility stat to the limit looked like a skill.
Even Kim SooYong blinked a few times, so it was understandable that most users didn’t know what was going on.
…Although there were some exceptions.
Berard, who was watching the battle between them, exclaimed in surprise.
It’d taken him years of practice before he could use that movement.
Who would’ve thought that Lattice had learned and perfected that movement in just half a year?!
He once again realized that people weren’t exaggerating when they said that Lattice was a really talented person.
“That’s too bad.”
The target of his lament wasn’t Ain but Lattice.
He remembered the past.
He’d been destroyed countless times by Ain thanks to that movement.
After practicing for a while, he was finally able to imitate it… But it was all for nothing.
All he could do was laugh when he remembered how Ain used to counter and destroy it.
Berard once again looked at the screen. He was wondering if Lattice would feel the same way he had back then.
* * *
Ain’s eyes shone in a scary way.
She carefully looked at Lattice’s movements; then her body also started to tremble.
The two of them left numerous afterimages.
Suddenly, the vibrations of both of them started to match.
Ain had matched the rhythm of Lattice’s movements.
The two options were reduced to one.
The two afterimages clashed.
The blue moon just cut the air.
Ain’s arm froze for a little while, but she immediately melted it.
Lattice’s attack didn’t stop with one.
He used the same technique again.
Lattice’s sword, which looked like it was about to leave an afterimage because of the vibration, had two techniques mixed in: stabbing and cutting.
But in Ain’s movements, there were also two ways of defending.
Both afterimages clashed, and once again, the sword failed to cut.
‘What kind of nonsense…!’
It didn’t matter how many times he tried–his attacks failed.
He understood the theory behind it…
But that just made him doubt what he was seeing even more.
Was matching the rhythm of the opponent’s movements even possible?
His blue longsword kept shining.
The only thing that could be heard was the sound of cold air exploding.
But the only thing that happened was that Ain’s body froze for a short while and then melted. He wasn’t able to land an attack on her.
“You can’t win,” she suddenly said.
Those words came from experience.
“I have a job advantage.”
Thanks to the experience of dueling in the previous game, Ain knew better than anyone about job advantages.
There were some jobs that could overcome the disadvantage, but in other cases, it was simply impossible.
From Ain’s point of view, this was one of those cases.
“Nothing will change unless you change your job or ultimate attack.”
Ain grew tails and ears made of fire.
Her body was covered by flames, and the heat grew stronger.
The snowstorm was being melted away before it could reach her.
Crack-! Efreet’s Claws appeared from both hands.
“Now you won’t even be able to freeze me. What are you going to do?”
He found it funny that he’d been trapped by someone unexpected.
From the moment he began playing Asrian, he had only cared about a single user.
But if he were already blocked, he probably wouldn’t be able to get close to him.
Lattice stopped laughing, and then he lifted his sword again with a determined expression.
“Then, I’ll turn the disadvantage upside down.”
Lattice’s figure disappeared and appeared behind Ain.
Cold air exploded from Ain’s back.
The moment she was frozen, Efreet’s Claws rose from her hands.
As ice and fire skills collided, the entire scene was covered with vapor.
Lattice didn’t let that opportunity go.
—He aimed toward the vapor and used his sword to cut from bottom to top.
‘I can’t feel anything…!’
The moment he noticed that his attack had failed…
He moved to Ain’s back again and tried to cut her.
But he failed once again.
As the claws and sword clashed again, vapor appeared once more.
While the field of view was covered by vapor, Ain swung her claws 360 degrees.
—That was the safest way to respond to an all-out attack.
Suddenly, Ain felt as if she were floating in the air.
She soon noticed what had happened.
Because the entire floor had been cut away, she was falling.
Lattice had taken the opportunity when her field of view was blocked to cut away the floor.
An even bigger smile appeared on Ain’s face.
Until then, the only one who’d done something she hadn’t expected was Hyun.
Wasn’t Lattice quite similar?
He had read her intentions of blocking an attack that could come from anywhere.
If it weren’t for the job advantage, maybe she would’ve lost because of that move.
«Steps of the Incarnate»!
As a 30-meter-long path was drawn in the sky, she rose higher than the tower’s rooftop.
Surprisingly, Lattice was waiting at the exact place where the «Steps of Incarnate» would end.
If the opponent weren’t Ain, maybe he really would’ve overcome the job disadvantage.
The frost Lattice had prepared started to explode at the same time.
Fireworks of ice began exploding on the rooftop.
Even Ain was forced to remain frozen for a short while.
At that moment, Lattice tried to take the opportunity to attack her.
But Lattice’s sword narrowly missed Ain again.
Just like when you open an umbrella, when she activated the claws, there was a slight rebound.
If she used that rebound correctly, twisting her body in the air wasn’t something impossible.
It was something someone could try only if they perfectly understood how the skill worked.
The fire and ice explosions kept going on for a while.
The terrace had been completely messed up from their fight.
Even at that moment, the chat window kept moving incredibly fast.
– Woah… They’re really on another level.
– Can you see what’s going on? I have no idea what they’re doing…
The fight between Ain and Lattice changed what many people thought about rankers.
Weren’t rankers just people with a high level, rich enough to buy good items, or just lucky people overall?
But after seeing that battle, they were forced to change their opinions.
After looking at how top rankers moved, there probably wasn’t anyone who could say something like that.
“It’s truly a situation where a diamond is cutting a diamond! Neither of them is backing off!”
Im SeongJun shouted excitedly.
As expected from an experienced caster. Even though he didn’t understand the mental games that were going on between Ain and Lattice, his shout was enough to get everyone in the chat excited.
As an active professional gamer, Kim SooYong could observe the situation in more detail.
‘Is Lattice going to lose…?’
He wasn’t expecting that.
After all, most Stardust members, himself included, had thought that Lattice would win with an overwhelming advantage.